Since toy haulers have become the hottest things in the RV industry many companies are developing products just for us. One category that has had a great deal of attention is the ramp area of the trailer.
There are several styles of screens, screen rooms and awnings that are available, each having different methods of attachment, storage etc.
Stoett Industries Inc. out of Defiance, Ohio (now that’s a city name fitting for a new product) has come up with perhaps the best design in the screen category, in terms of usability, with their SportScreen retractable screen design. This unit is more of a permanent installation. What we like about this is there is no fumbling around with zippers, snaps or magnets. There is also no reason to have to store the screen someplace else, un-pack it, attach it and so on. This unit mounts above the ramp on the inside of the toyhauler. It is situated so you can still have your electric bunks operate smoothly and there is no compromise on the loading height into the trailer.
The screen is “stored” in what looks like a hard case for an exterior awning. The edges of the screen are kept in check with a narrow rail system, which guides the screen and keeps things from snagging or fraying with the up and down motion. Once your SportScreen is mounted, you’re done. If you want the screen down you simply pull on the handle and the screen easily pulls to the floor. When it’s time to pack up, the screen retracts up into the enclosed case and that is where it stays. No bags and no packing are required.
There are a few other nice features about this product. First the screen has some flexibility to it, so it can be pushed on (gently) without tearing, or just falling off its mounting area. Second, on most models you can put the ramp up without having the screen up, this is just shear laziness because the screen retracts so easily. But it’s good to know it will not be damaged if you forget. The third and our favorite would be you could have your logo printed on the screen, which is great for companies and riding clubs alike.
The SportScreen is currently available on several different manufacturer models and will soon be at least an option from most trailer builders. For all of you who have purchased your rig and are just finding out about this hot new design, or builders and service centers that need more information, you can contact Stoett Industries directly for assistance.
The installation of this unit we would place at about a 6 1⁄2-7 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. It really depends on how old your trailer is and whether it is a factory trailer or a custom enclosed trailer with exposed walls. The newer models of factory trailers have much better mounting area for the rails, making the install much easier. You can also have the installation done by your local RV service center.
Stoett Industries Inc can be reached at 800-431-2986 or to see their entire line of screens for your RV, residence or business, you can visit them online at www.stoett.com